‘Spencer’: Kristen Stewart’s Age When Princess Diana Died

Spencer, the upcoming Princess Diana film starring Kristen Stewart, premiered at Venice Film Festival. While it’s been many years since the world mourned the Princess of Wales, her legend still looms large today. She’s been honored in songs, TV shows, and films.

Stewart was rather young when Diana passed away. But how young exactly was she? Let’s take a closer look at Stewart in the role and what age she was when the world lost one of its greatest princesses. 

The decision to cast Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana

According to Deadline, director Pablo Larrain cast Stewart as Diana last summer. The film is called Spencer, and it follows Diana during her momentous decision to leave Prince Charles. The movie will reportedly take place over three days. Rather than cover any aspect of their fairy tale courtship or the tragic circumstances surrounding Diana’s death, it will only depict her choice to end her royal marriage. 

Larrain spoke about the story in the context of a classic fairy tale, and how this real-life story very much represented an inversion of that: 

Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale. When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, I’d rather go and be myself, it’s a big big decision, a fairy tale upside down. I’ve always been very surprised by that and thought it must have been very hard to do. That is the heart of the movie.

Referring to Stewart as “one of the great actors around today,” Larrain cited her aura of “mystery” as a major reason behind the casting. He said Stewart could display both strength and fragility, which is needed in this case. This will be an intimate portrayal of Diana, and Larrain clearly felt Stewart was up to the task. 

How old was Stewart when Diana died? 

Kristen Stewart attends the red carpet of the movie 'Spencer during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 03, 2021, in Venice, Italy.
Kristen Stewart attends the red carpet of the movie ‘Spencer during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 03, 2021, in Venice, Italy. | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Stewart is one of the most popular young actors in Hollywood. Born on April 9, 1990, she began acting at a young age. She gained worldwide fame when she was quite young, starring as the lead of the Twilight series in her 20s. 

Stewart was even younger than that when Diana died. Diana died in the early hours of September 1, 1997 — just after midnight. That would make Stewart 7 years old at the time of the late royal’s passing. The events of the film take place, a few years prior to her death. Diana and Charles divorced in 1996. That means Stewart was likely around 5 or 6 years old when the movie’s events took place. 

What Stewart thinks about playing Diana

Stewart told Jimmy Kimmel that though she was very young when Diana’s death occurred, she did have memories of her funeral. “I remember the flowers,” said Stewart. “I’ve never seen  so many in one place.”

As far as honoring Diana’s legacy, Stewart said, “It’s hard not to feel protective of her.” She added that the film isn’t an exact recreation of what happened on those days in Diana’s life, it attempted to capture how she might have been feeling emotionally.

“Everyone’s perspective is different, and there’s no way to get anything ‘right’ because what is fact in relation to personal experience?” said Stewart.  “My movie takes place over three days and it’s just like, really poetic in trying to imagine what that might have felt like.” 

There’s no question that Stewart took this role seriously. It should be interesting to see how it turns out. 

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